Three die from electrocution as alam touches electric wires in Bhittaiabad

Updated September 08, 2019

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Three participants of a Muharram procession were electrocuted when an alam, said to be made of a metal, touched live overhead electric wires in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Saturday, officials said. — Reuters/File
Three participants of a Muharram procession were electrocuted when an alam, said to be made of a metal, touched live overhead electric wires in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Saturday, officials said. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: Three participants of a Muharram procession were electrocuted when an alam, said to be made of a metal, touched live overhead electric wires in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Saturday, officials said.

“Three mourners of the Muharram procession died when the alam they were carrying touched 11,000KV high tension wires in Bhittaiabad,” said DIG-East Amir Farooqi.

The dead were identified as Mohammed Ali, 35, Haji Khaskheli, 13, and Sono Shahzaib, 18. He said that the alam was made of an iron pipe.

“The procession continued moving on its route and culminated peacefully at its traditional point, the DIG added.

Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said that three persons suffered burn wounds and were initially shifted to the nearby Dow University Hospital for treatment from where they were moved to the burns centre of the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.

A police officer says the alam was made of an iron pipe

He said that they did not get life-threatening injuries since they got burn wounds on hands and feet. Therefore, they were discharged from the hospital after treatment, he added.

The injured were identified as Sumair Hasan, 13, Afzal Agha, 22, and Mohsin Shah, 19.

Sachal SHO Agha Mashooq said that some mourners staged a protest demonstration outside the Darul Sihat Hospital, where the three bodies were brought, and blocked the main road for some time.

KE expresses regret

A spokesperson for the K-Electric said that the power utility regretted over loss of lives in Bhittaiabad.

The official said that the incident occurred when an alam touched electric wires there. “Electric wires have been installed as per defined rules,” said the official.

KE teams were present in the area and they were in touch with the procession organisers, the official said, urging the citizens to exercise special care during Muharram processions.

The official said that the KE committed for maximum relief for consumers on 9th and 10th Muharram. “KE will be extending maximum relief on 9th and 10th of Muharram in order to facilitate its consumers and the Muharram processions.”

“The power utility has already been providing uninterrupted electricity where Majalis and possessions are taking place from 1st Muharram,” the official said.

The KE cautioned its customers to stay safe and discourage the use of illegal kundas and hanging lights, both are public safety hazard.

Meanwhile, provincial minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, who is also the president of the PPP’s Malir chapter, visited the Bhittaiabad area and expressed his grief over the loss of lives. He also visited the burns centre of the CHK to inquire after the health of the injured persons.

Security arrangements reviewed

DIG-South Sharjeel Kharal on Saturday presided over a meeting to review security arrangements for the 8th, 9th and 10th Muharram processions.

Sector commander Ghazi Rangers Colonel Waqar Khalid, Deputy Commissioner-South, SSPs of City and South districts, all wings commanders of Rangers and other officials attended the meeting.

Presentations were given by the Rangers and police officials about the security plan for processions.

Appreciating the efforts of Rangers and police, the DIG said that all-out measures had been adopted to ensure peace during the processions.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2019